The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Original Before & After Footage

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 registered somewhere between 7.7 and 8.25 on the richter scale, and it radiated all the way down to Los Angeles and up to Oregon. To this day, the earthquake (and the devastating fires that followed) remains one of the worst natural disasters in US history, right alongside the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and Katrina. Last year, Dan Meyerson and Matt Peterson, two filmmakers, helped recapture what life looked like in the “post-nuclear landscape” of San Francisco by editing a collection of news footage taken after the quake. The more the silent footage rolls along, the more destruction you see. And if I have pieced things together correctly, the route traveled in this video is the same one captured in this 1905 pre-earthquake video. Here, the before and after contrasts are on full display…

via Devour



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  1. Dan says . . . | November 5, 2010 / 2:53 pm

    Amazing footage. Scary to think of another quake like this.

  2. Michael Hinsley says . . . | February 12, 2012 / 5:28 pm

    My Grandfather, Patrick Joseph Collins, (immigrated from Abbeyfield,Limerick,Ireland,1904)was in San Francisco on that day. He was 28 yrs old.

  3. Jim Kelley says . . . | February 21, 2012 / 5:03 pm

    it appears this is being filmed from a streetcar since it’s not wavering left or right and the overhead wires are all there..seems weird that this system would have survived.

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